Vietnamese-style chicken salad
We made this on Wednesday night using leftovers from the pot roast chicken we cooked on Monday. We doubled up the quantities so as to have effortless packed lunches the following day. Spouse was ravenous so I cooked an extra 60g of brown rice noodles (which I dressed with a little tamari sauce and a teaspoon of cold-pressed sesame oil) for him as a side. This recipe is suitable for a ketogenic diet if you omit the syrup, coconut sugar or xylitol. If you have a problem with raw onions, try soaking them in the dressing for 20 minutes before adding the other ingredients, this takes the heat out of them.
6ozs/160g cooked chicken (organic if possible), shredded or sliced
6ozs//160g red, white or green cabbage, destalked & finely shredded (i.e. raw) – you could use a food processor for this to save time
2ozs/50g carrot, cut into strips with a potato peeler, or julienned
2 spring onions, including the green part, cut into long thin strips
OR 1/2 a medium/large red onion, halved, then sliced thinly
1 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
Mint and coriander sprigs to garnish
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp oriental fish sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar if you have it
1 crushed clove garlic
1 dsp coconut sugar, agave or maple syrup or xylitol (optional) (omit for ketogenic diet)
1 tbsp cold pressed (virgin) sesame/peanut/sunflower/macademia/rapeseed oil (if you cannot get any of these as the cold-pressed oil, do not use any oil at all)
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1. For the dressing: put lime juice, fish sauce, vinegar, garlic & coconut sugar, syrup or xylitol, oil and chillies in a bowl and whisk so the sugar/xylitol dissolves. Leave for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.
2. Mix in the salad ingredients and divide between 2 plates or bowls.
3. Garnish with mint and coriander sprigs.
If this is your evening meal and you’re not wanting to lose weight, serve with brown rice or 100% buckwheat or brown rice noodles sprinkled with a little Tamari sauce (from Asian shops). Omit noodles for ketogenic diet.
Tamari is a delicious, naturally gluten-free soya sauce, and buckwheat and brown rice are naturally gluten-free too. Cabbage contains folic acid and cabagin which are both very healing for the digestive system, especially if you have gastritis or ulcers. Surprisingly, chillies can have a pain-relieving effect on ulcers, and are used in ayurvedic medicine as an ulcer treatment. The virgin, cold-pressed nut and seed oils mentioned in the recipe, eaten raw, are a rich source of omega 6 essential fats. Essential fats are needed for clear skin, digestive wellness and energy production. Trans fats, generated during standard (non-cold) processing of oils and also during cooking, are harmful. They damage the body and block essential fat utilisation. Herbs and spices are high in antioxidants for many health benefits. The reason some people do not tolerate raw onions is they relax the oesophagal sphincter. This is the valve that stops food coming back up towards your gullet. If you have acid reflux, it means that this valve could do with being strengthened by specific dietary measures.